The Carthage Republican
February 8, 1928
FORMER COUNTY MAN MURDERED
Albert Langley Shot By Hired Man On Kansas Ranch
Albert Langley came to his death at the hands of his hired man, Cecil Campbell on Langley's ranch near Spearville, Kansas, Monday, January 30th, 1928.
Shot Three Times and Able to Walk to the House.
The cause of the shooting is in doubt.
Mrs. Langley who accompanied the body of her husband here, stated to The Republican's representative, that he and his men were grinding cane. In the middle of the morning she looked out and saw her husband approaching the house staggering. She ran to meet him thinking he had gotten hurt.
She got him in the house and he said, "Cecil shot me." She questioned him if they had quarreled, and he answered her they had not, that he and Cecil were working together, Cecil throwing down the bundles of cane to him, while Langley fed it into the mill. He said he called to Campbell to throw down another bundle and when he turned to receive it, Campbell faced him with a revolver, and fired three shots into Langley's face. The shots took effect in the nose, the cheek and forehead. Langley died of hemorrhage, after making the above statement to his wife.
Campbell was later captured at Kingsdown and put in jail at Dodge City, Kansas. He stated that he and Langley quarreled over the ownership of the cane mill, Campbell claiming that Langley cheated him in the purchase deal. Mrs. Langley states that the cane mill was bought and paid for over a year ago, and that could not have been the cause.
Mrs. Langley returned to Spearville yesterday where Campbell's preliminary will be held on her return. She will return to Carthage to make her home. Her mother is Mrs. Jas. Burns, a daughter of Mrs. Nancy Boston of this city.
The deceased, Albert Lee Langley, was the son of Isaac and Emmaretta Langley, was born on the Langley farm near Middle Creek, Hancock county, Illinois, March 3, 1883, being on the day of his death, 44 years, 10 months and 28 days of age. His mother passed away seven months ago. He was left fatherless at the age of 13 years.
At the age of 15 years he united with the Methodist Episcopal church at Middle Creek.
On April 12, 1915, he was united in marriage to Miss Fern Bagley, of Carthage, Ill., to which union were born the following children: William Isaac, Homer Lee, Ernest Albert, Esther Fern, Joy Ruth and Joseph Bruce Langley.
Besides these children, deceased leaves to mourn his departure the following sisters, Mrs. Alice Wilson, of Plymouth, Ill.; Mrs. Mary Grove, Carthage, Ill.; Mrs. Mae Boston, Arbelia, Mo.1; and one brother, Alfred, of Quincy, and one half brother, Homer Langley, of Guyman, Okla. Besides these there remains many relatives and friends to mourn the untimely death of deceased, which occurred at Spearville, Kans., Jan. 31, 1928.
Card of Thanks
We wish to gratefully acknowledge your expressions of sympathy at this time of our great sorrow.
Mrs. Albert Langley,
1 probably Arbela, Mo.
The Carthage Republican
April 4, 1928
LIFE, FOR SLAYER
OF A. L. LANGLEY
Appeal Taken from Sen-
tence By Accused
Cecil Campbell, aged 24, the farm hand who shot and killed A. L. Langley, Hodgeman County, Kansas, farmer January 30, 1928, was convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to the penitentiary for life.
The trial began February 28. It took a long time to secure a jury. A large number of questions were put to the prospective jurymen, most of whom were disqualified because they said they had formed opinions as to guilt or innocence of the 24-year-old farm hand. Campbell was taken from the jail at Dodge City to Jetmore, Kansas for trial.
A plea of guilty was entered by the accused. The defense was based on the statement made by Campbell shortly after his capture to County Attorney O. A. Wilson in which he declared Langley had threatened to "get him" and had attacked him with a broom-corn knife after a quarrel. He also said Langley had made him drunk.
Later in the trial the motion to ???? the testimony of Campbell's confession was overruled by Judge Roscoe on the grounds that no proof was offered that coercion was used by the officers in securing the statement. The sheriff and two deputies were put on the stand and related that the 24-year-old defendant had confessed to shooting Langley to death. Doctors and nurse of Spearville who had attended Langley after he was shot were also called as witnesses by the state.
The defense rested its case this morning after placing Campbell on the stand. The prisoner declared he had shot Langley in self defense after his employer had first attacked him with a broom-corn knife, and then drawn a revolver. He shot Langley twice, he said. The first shot felled Langley, but he got to his feet shouting, "I'll get you," Campbell said. "The youth then fired the second shot. Langley fell again, but arose and staggered from the barn," Campbell continued. A third bullet wound in Langley's face, he said was caused by a shot fired by Langley himself.
The men had been working in the barn on the Langley farm and they started quarreling after they drank some liquor brought out by Langley.
That the shooting of Langley was premeditated was declared by James Larson and Raymond Booker, both of Los Animos, Colo., Campbell's former home. The men testified they had received a letter from Campbell in which he stated his intention of killing Langley.
In an effort to discredit their testimony, the defense placed Mrs. James Bowman on the stand. She testified that both men had reputations of untruthfulness. Merle Campbell, brother of the prisoner, said he had read the letter and asserted that Cecil had written nothing about killing Langley. Mrs. Campbell also asserted that Cecil Campbell had a good reputation.
Notice for an appeal for a new trial was given.
Langley went west from Hancock county and the body was brought back here for burial.
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